Gorilla trekking family allocation in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking family allocation in Bwindi: Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a place with the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. The mountain gorillas in Bwindi do live in four regions of the park which are Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Buhoma. Some of the mountain gorillas in Bwindi have been habituated and these are so far 19. 2 gorilla families are still going through habituation in Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors both in the southwestern part of the park.
Gorilla trekking family allocation in Bwindi we could say is done by Uganda Wildlife Authority a government body that manages the national park. Uganda Wildlife Authority issues permits for different sectors but it’s the management in the park or the sector where you going to trek that is responsible for gorilla trekking allocation. Gorilla trekking family allocation we mean how mountain gorilla families are allocated for trekkers taking part in the gorilla trekking activity.
Previously gorilla family allocation in Bwindi was done by the travelers themselves who would first read about different mountain gorilla families and then choose which one to trek. The Uganda Wildlife Authority saw that this was not fair enough because there would be gorilla families that could be left out maybe because they have a few members or silverbacks.
Uganda wildlife authority decided to change the ways of allocating mountain gorillas and made it be on the day of gorilla trekking in the sector you are to visit. Uganda Wildlife Authority issues permits for different regions but when you visit the region it’s the role of the park wardens to allocate the gorilla family to trek. Gorilla trekking family allocation in Bwindi is done on the day of trekking at the sector offices by the park wardens but not during permit booking.
Although gorilla allocation is done by the park wardens, travelers that want to trek a particular gorilla family can inform their tour operators to inform the wardens or even tell the wardens on the day of trekking. Also, travelers doing double gorilla trekking have got a choice to choose which gorilla family to trek most especially if they want to trek with different gorilla families.
The gorilla trekking family allocation in Bwindi is based on the following.
The level of fitness of trekkers
The level of fitness is one of the things that park management looks at when allocating gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The mountain gorillas in Bwindi do live at high altitudes most of the time because they keep moving to look for food to it. It, therefore, requires a traveler to hike through difficult terrain and thick vegetation cover to locate the apes. Travelers that are fit enough are allocated mountain gorilla families that are far from the starting point and those that are not fit enough are allocated gorilla families that are very near or at a low altitude. Tourists that are disabled or very old are given sedan chairs at a fee to take carry them throughout the whole hike.
Age of trekkers
Park wardens do look at the age of trekkers when allocating mountain gorilla families to trek. The young ones are said to be energetic and physically fit and are therefore given gorilla families that are far on high altitudes while the older people are given gorilla families easy to trek because they are believed to be weak. The age of trekkers is checked by looking at the passports as well as other documents. Travelers who are old and fit enough can inform the rangers so that they allocate them to a difficult gorilla family. If a traveler is young but unfit, they can also inform the wardens so that they give them an easy family.
When to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi can be done all throughout the year but there are seasons that are better than the rest. The dry season is the best time to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi and it occurs from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that keeps the trekking trails dry and easily hiked, vegetation is short and thin giving good views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can still go gorilla trekking in the rainy season of March to May and October to November because the park is always open. Travelers that visit the park in that period will get huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season however comes with too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in bad conditions.
Price of gorilla trekking in Bwindi
To trek Bwindi gorillas, you must have a gorilla trekking permit and this can only be got from Uganda Wildlife Authority. You can book it directly and collect it from their offices when you arrive in the country or you can book it using a trusted local tour operator at the same fee. A single gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi gorilla park costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 East African citizens. Travelers that would love to spend more time with the mountain gorillas can purchase gorilla habituation permits at a fee of $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa.
Availability of Bwindi gorilla permits
There are times most especially in the dry season which is also known as the rainy season when the permits do sell out quickly. In the high season, there are sectors of the park where gorilla permits are booked faster than others. We normally advise travelers to book their gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months especially if they are to visit the park in the high season of June to September and December to February. Travelers that are to visit the park during the rainy season don’t have to rush to buy the permits because they will always be available.